ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Part of becoming a successful organization is hiring good people. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has certainly done that. Thad Levine is mentioned by many folks as someone who should get a chance to be a GM soon. Now 33-year-old A.J. Preller's name is surfacing. He's the senior director of player personnel. Baseball Prospectus noted Preller as someone to watch as a future GM. Here's part of the writeup on him:
Why He's Ready: If there's a Jon Daniels, Part II, this is it. Preller has, as scouts would call it during the draft, "helium." His background is close enough to Daniels 'that there's a little worry that he's unprepared, but he adds in the scouting department seasoning that could get him painted with the still-derogatory "Stat Geek" tag. He also played a big role while working for MLB in beating Eric Gagne in a landmark arbitration case. The Rangers' success has been fueled in large part by players that Preller has his fingerprints on. Don't think that doesn't get noticed by the competition. There's some concern that he might not be fully ready for the big chair. "I wouldn't feel confident that he's ready to run an organization," said one current GM, "but I'd want to interview him and see if he impressed me enough with a plan."